Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Turkey Tuesday May 13


Pat's journal tells today's story better than I can (which is usually true, but I have to pretend you'll put up wth me most of the time).

We had an extra early wake up call this morning as this is to be a 350km driving day. But the walls in Hotel Nemrut were so thin (2:30am wakeup calls to those doing sunrise at Nemrut were heard through our walls). And the beds were the hardest yet - and the breakfast was the meanest. Fanta in the orange juice dispenser, no yogurt, no cereal.

We head back southwest through Adiyaman to Gazi Antep (used to be just plain Antep until the Parliament add Gazi (Veteran) as a tribute to the locals in their heroic fighting of the French. We stop at an excellent museum to see the astounding mosaics and remains from a nearby roman city (Zeuma) which is almost all under water of a new dam. Then to lunch at a great restaurant where I had my most delicious meal - Ali Nazir - rich yogurt and eggplant on the bottom layer, meat on the top. Everyone raved about their lamb and chicken kabobs.

We depart with 2 kilos of baklava to eat on the way. This town is famous for its baklava, and ours with pistacio is quite light and good (although baklava is not my favorite dessert). We tease Akin about baklava being Greek.

Past Antep, I catch up on my sleep with the help of all the good food. We go through more hills, plains, rocks, and agriculture: some mature pistacio trees are quite large. And the usual grain, chickpeas, grapes, and olives. But on the roadside I see plenty of wild pink and white holihock and a green-leaved smoke bush. There is also the odd field of corn - gran tuco!

We make Antakya at about 5pm. The sky is bright, and the weather is balmy - and the streets are teaming with shoppers and strollers. Our hotel is right on the Orantes River on the main drag. And our rooms are solid. From our balcony on the third floor, we have a view of the old town as it climbs up the mountain - fanning out along the river bank for several kilometers.

We walk to the covered market across the bridge over the river. Then back for an Ok dinner. Next to our hotel is an ice cream, pastry, and candy shop, so several of us stopfor a cone. We collect addresses as 2or 3 leave tomorrow and 3-4 more in Adana. I'm now on a bed listening to the most lyrical and soulful mezzuzin (Muslim call to prayer from the minerets) yet. I wish I could record it.

Tomorrow, we don't get up and out until 9:30am. And Gregory got a charger for his camera, so we're not hanging by a thread with our photographic capabilities.

To view the photographs for the day, click on: Turkey Tuesday May 13

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